Canadian court rules charges against Meng Wanzhou pass ‘double criminality’ test

28th May 2020

The Supreme Court of British Columbia has rejected the challenge by Meng Wanzhou, Chief Financial Officer of Huawei, to her extradition to the US. Ms Meng argued that the charges of violating US sanctions against Iran did not amount to a criminal offence in Canada at the time and therefore failed to meet the double criminality test for extradition.

Justice Heather Holmes held that although Canada did not have in place equivalent sanctions at the relevant time, the conduct alleged would constitute an offence of fraud which has “a vast potential scope”, thereby meeting the required standard of being a crime in both Canada and the US. To accept Ms Meng’s arguments as to double criminality would “seriously limit” Canada’s ability to fulfil its international extradition obligations.

Ms Meng was arrested at Vancouver Airport in December 2018, pursuant to a US request, while attempting to board a connecting flight. She is charged in the US with fraud, sanctions violations, theft of trade secrets and conspiracy to commit racketeering.

The next stage in proceedings will assess the sufficiency of admissible evidence to support her extradition and hear arguments about whether Ms Meng’s Charter rights were violated during her arrest.

Jasvinder Nakhwal
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7822 7753

Nick Vamos
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7822 7776